The Foley Sports Tourism (FST) has made its mission to become a premier sports destination. This week they’ve been recognized by USA Volleyball Gulf Coast Region for their efforts, with the Robert L. Lindsay Meritorious Service Award.
Lindsay was the eighth president of USA Volleyball from 1981 – 1984. Prior to Lindsay’s tenure, the U.S. had never medaled in Olympic volleyball. He felt that creating a central facility for players to come together, practice, and hone their skills as a team would help change that. He was instrumental in creating the USA Volleyball National Team Center in California. Lindsay’s work paid off and in 1984 the men’s national volleyball team earned a gold medal and the women took silver at the Los Angeles Olympics.
Coach Phillip Bryant, now in his 22nd year as the Commissioner of the Gulf Coast Region for USA Volleyball was part of the awards committee that nominated the city for the award. He said there are a number of parallels between Lindsay and the City of Foley.
“The partnership with the City of Foley, Foley Sports Tourism, and the Foley Event Center allow us as an organization with our home office in Baldwin County the dynamic opportunity to grow,” Bryant said. “It partners our volleyball families with a premier facility and allows us to host larger tournaments, invite more teams, and have everyone in one location, older players get a chance to watch younger players and younger players get a chance to watch older players.”
Foley’s Director of Sports Tourism, David Thompson said that working with USA Volleyball has been not only a pleasure but extremely fruitful for the city.
“We truly value our relationship,” Thompson said. “With a home office in South Baldwin County, they understand how things work here and the importance of bringing visitors to our area. We’ve been lucky enough to host eight tournaments with them over the last year and have another ten on the books for the future. We hope to continue this relationship well into the future.”
Bryant and 1964 U.S. National Volleyball team member and Olympian Barbara Harwerth presented the award to City of Foley Mayor John Koniar and the Foley City Council on Monday during a council meeting.